Five Mau Mau veterans sue UK Government over ‘torture’ by Britain
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:04 PM on 23rd June 2009
Veterans of Kenya’s independence war began a High Court claim for compensation against the Government today, alleging inhuman and barbaric treatment in British-run detention camps.
The men and women, now in their 70s and 80s, say they witnessed the murder of detainees, suffered torture and were hung upside down as they were beaten.
One man claims he was castrated with pliers in 1954. Women say they were sexually abused.
Five Kenyans – three men and two women – flew to London today to issue their claims in person.
They were allegedly among thousands forced into camps during the Mau Mau uprising against British colonial power.
The Kenyan Human Rights Commission has said 90,000 Kenyans were executed, tortured or maimed during the resulting crackdown and 160,000 were detained in appalling conditions.
Britain is accused of giving camp guards a ‘blank cheque’ to get detainees to recant their oaths of loyalty to the Mau Mau movement.
Up to 2,000 more detainees are said to be pursuing claims in Kenya and will be closely monitoring the High Court test cases. …
Ndiku Mutua, one of the five, said: ‘I live with the physical and mental scars of what happened to me. Not a day goes by when I do not think of these terrible events. At last I can tell my story and at last I can hope for justice from the British courts.’
Mr Mutua said that in 1954 he was arrested, severely beaten before being castrated with pliers, at Lukenya detention centre.
Another claimant, Paulo Nzili, also said he was castrated. Wambugu Wa Nyingi said he was tied upside down by the feet and beaten and was personally involved in an incident in Hola camp where 11 detainees were allegedly beaten to death.
Jane Muthoni Mara and Susan Ngondi said they were sexually assaulted. …
A former district officer during the Emergency, John Nottingham, 81, who is originally from Coventry, told how he saw an old man being attacked.
‘It was clear that there was a major piece of evil going on in Kenya, and I have learned more about it in recent years,’ he said. …
Mr Nyingi said after the news conference: ‘At one camp, called Hola, they had locked us up in an isolated space.
‘There were 12 of us and they killed 11 and I was the only survivor.’
He said that independence for the country in 1963 had not healed the wounds left by harsh treatment.
‘I still feel angry, I haven’t found a place, politically and economically, and I don’t own land.
‘I participated on the basis the land the British seized would be given back, but I was left as a poor person.’
He showed scars on his knees where he was allegedly beaten by troops under the command of a British colonial officer.
He added: ‘I didn’t have the same strength as a man of my age should have, after leaving the camp.’